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Memorial to fallen CPD officers dedicated

Monday, September 18, 2006

Candles lit up the lakefront Monday night to dedicate a memorial to more than 500 Chicago police officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.

Hundreds of people gathered near Waldron and Campus Drive to honor the memories of the fallen. Each person held a flickering candle, one for each of the 520 Chicago police officers killed while serving since the department's founding in the mid 1800s.

The new Gold Star Families Memorial and Park is a place for relatives, friends, and anyone else to pay tribute. Gold stars embedded in a wall engraved with each officer's name will forever memorialize them.

Among the names on the wall is Edwin Peppard's. He died in 1935 from injuries he suffered rescuing people from a burning building. He was just 30 years old. Members of his family, some who traveled from as far away as Oregon, attended the ceremony.

"I never really knew him," said Jack Thomas, Edwin Peppard's son. "I was 3 months old when he died. But I've known so much about him from relatives, friends. He was a saint and a hero and I've always aspired to be a lot like him."

The new Gold Star Families Park is on the lake side of Soldier Field between the stadium and Burnham Park.

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